How L.A. Can Achieve Net-Zero Building Emissions 10 Years Ahead of Schedule

George Steeley
George Steeley

While L.A. has long been known for poor public transit and a glut of cars, city leaders now understand that commercial and residential buildings make up its largest source of carbon emissions.

Following similar commitments from New York City, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti recently unveiled his own “greenprint” for the city to reach 100% net-zero building emissions and 100% renewable energy, along with climate plans for vehicles and new green jobs.

Emissions-Free Buildings by 2050?

The sharpest reductions will come from buildings, eliminating 112 million tons of carbon over the city’s previous plans. By 2030, all new buildings will have to be emissions-free, and by 2050, every existing building will need to meet that same standard.

Building owners, real estate investment groups, building management companies, builders and tenants will be required to get on board.

We believe the 2050 goal can be achieved a decade sooner. How? By making energy efficiency profitable.

Profit-Driven Climate Incentives Motivate Change.

We founded Carbon Lighthouse on the belief that capitalism can save the planet by making it profitable for building owners to reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon Lighthouse’s Efficiency Production service turns wasted building energy into guaranteed revenue by boosting net operating income and increasing overall asset value.

Behavioral changes and energy upgrades — from basic efficient lighting upgrades to continuous and automatic optimizations of existing equipment at the system level — can substantially cut energy and improve the performance of buildings, all while maintaining tenant comfort and freeing up building teams to focus on other value-generating building projects.

Technology advancements have made it easier and more lucrative for businesses to prioritize reducing carbon emissions.

One example, our recently patented CLUES® platform, was built from scratch so that our engineers could pinpoint wasted energy at the building system level, going far beyond the data collection that typically happens in a building.

We’ve now worked in more than 650 buildings across 16 states, eliminating the emissions equivalent of 8.5 power plants.

We estimate the total value of U.S. Efficiency Reserves – that wasted energy from buildings – at over $100 billion every year, more than twice the cash value of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve.

Carbon Lighthouse opened a Los Angeles office to have a greater impact in helping the Southern California region reduce carbon emissions.

Since 2014, we’ve been working to deliver energy savings to over 100 Southern California buildings from Los Angeles to San Diego, including commercial office buildings, hotels and K-12 schools.

Our Los Angeles clients include Kilroy Realty Corporation, Ohana Real Estate Investors, owners of the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel and Aspire Public Schools.

While we can’t reduce the number of cars in Los Angeles or compel people to take more public transportation, we can make it profitable for building owners to fight climate change.

It’s already profitable for L.A.’s commercial real estate community to pursue net-zero goals. Why wait any longer?

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